Bulk Food Storage in 5 Gallon Buckets

Food grade 5 gallon buckets can be a very useful tool for your long-term food storage. In fact, whole grains and other foods can have be stored safely for about five years when properly stored in buckets. These buckets can hold a lot. The term “properly stored” is very important and should be paid attention to – packing food into a food grade bucket and putting on a lid is not “proper storage.”

You can buy them new or clean used 5 gallon buckets.

Here’s important information to help you use 5 gallon buckets to store food long term.

Food Storage Basics – Preventing Spoilage and Pests

This is not what you want to find in your supply of food

There are some important things to know about preventing spoilage and pests from destroying your stored food.

Long-Term Food Storage

Learning the hard way about weevils, oxygen absorbers and dry ice.

Here is a primer on oxygen absorbers part 1 and part 2 is about mylar bags.

Two good ways to pack for long-term food storage: Vacuum and Nitrogen




Vacuum and Nitrogen Packing

Mother Earth News tells us how to store grain and dry goods for years by keeping them in plastic bags filled with nitrogen and placing these bags inside plastic tubs or metal cans.




Long Term Food Storage – Baking with 25 Year Old Wheat

Properly stored grain can last a long time

This is a testimony to how well grain can be stored in five gallon buckets! 25 year old wheat is ground and made into bread.

Where to Get 5 Gallon Buckets

Before you shop for buckets you must know the difference between food grade and non-food grade plastic buckets. You don’t want to use non-food grade buckets unless you are going to use sealed mylar bags to hold your foodstuff. Here is a discussion of food grade vs. regular 5 gallon buckets. Here you will find a discussion of where to buy food grade buckets and where to get them for free.

There are important things to remember but when it is broken down like I have done here, it is not too difficult for anyone to use these proven methods and safely store food in 5 gallon buckets. When I saw the post on the 25 year old wheat, it made a believer out of me, that long-term really does mean a long time!

Further Research:

Video: What are Gamma Seal Lids

Finding Food Grade Buckets

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  1. marc says

    Hi There,
    My wife and I just finished up packing four five gallon buckets with wheat berries, and egg noodles. This is our first time trying long term food storage. We measured out the wheat and egg noodles and packed them in one gallon mylar bags. I have been researching this process for a long time on the net. Originally I was going to pack them in nitrogen with oxygen absorbers, but right now to purchase a nitrogen tank, regulator, and getting it filled was prohibitively expensive… So, I opted for using CO2 instead of nitrogen. The whole process was extremely simple. I had a CO2 tank here from an old beer meister, and got it refilled for $12.00 at the local beer distributor. We sealed all but about a half inch after filling the bags, and putting in one 02 absorber, then flushed the bag with CO2. I guess time will tell . Thanks for getting us started.

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